- in News, Philippines
Image from Interaksyon

The decade is ending on a high note for the nation’s top officials. According to a recent Pulse Asia survey, both President Duterte and Speaker of the House Alan Peter Cayetano

continue to break records for public trust and approval as of December 2019.

The latest Pulse Asia survey, which was conducted from December 3 to 8, showed that President Duterte remains the most trusted Philippine official. The chief executive saw a 9 percent increase from his September 2019 ratings for both approval and trust, rising to 87 percent and 83 percent respectively.

During a meeting of the National Economic and Development Authority Investment Coordination Committee-Cabinet Committee NEDA (ICC-CabCom) last Friday, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III and Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia showed a table displaying the huge increase between the surveys. They credited the rating jumps to the administration’s strong economic policies which effectively decreased poverty and brought in new revenue streams through projects like the SEA Games hosting. They also predicted that the next survey would show even higher ratings, given the President’s recent campaign against exposing onerous provisions in the state’s water contracts.

“If I’m not mistaken, this is the first time ever that, at this point in any administration, that the President has reached this high… I think this is a historical high at any President from this stage,” said Secretary Dominguez.

President Duterte has enjoyed sky-high trust and approval ratings throughout his term – a feat for the chief executive office. Typically, these public opinion points tend to decrease as the term wears on, reflecting public frustration with the administration. However, President Duterte has defied this trend since he assumed office.

In fact, another recent survey found that a majority of voters in Visayas and Mindanao would support a Duterte-Duterte tandem in the Presidential and Vice-Presidential elections of 2022, with President Duterte serving as the Vice for his daughter, current Davao Mayor Inday Sara Duterte. Just like the high ratings of this December, this unique voter choice is also a first in Philippine history.

Speaker Cayetano also obtained an 80 percent approval rating and a 76-trust rating. Though the September 2019 survey by the same body also showed Speaker Cayetano achieve the highest ratings for the House Leader during the Duterte administration, the last quarter of the year has shown a huge jump. The latest survey’s figures reflect a 16-percentage point and a 14-percentage point increase since the third quarter, respectively.

Of the top officials, Vice President Leni Robredo kept her spot in the lowest scoring slot with an approval rating of just 58 percent and an even lower trust rating of 53. Last quarter, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano eclipsed the Vice President’s ratings for the first time during the Duterte administration. Though it’s extremely rare for the House Speaker to rate higher than the Vice President, the trend continued this quarter with Speaker Cayetano rating a full 22 percentage points higher in approval and 23 percentage points in trust than Robredo.

The administration’s high ratings have extended to the House. In a feat for this quarter, even the House of Representatives beat the Vice President’s approval ratings. Under the leadership of House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, the Lower Chamber earned record-high ratings with a whole nation approval of 66%. That’s 8 points higher than the Vice President.

The House of Representatives has unfortunately long-held a doubtful reputation and has not historically been seen with public favor. These survey results show that the institution is truly being reformed to better serve the Filipino public which trusts it.

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